In a world of 15-second Instagram clips and constant social media churn, here’s a silver platter of Canadian BMX videos from recent months. This is the Northern Embassy’s Video Round Up.
Often when I plan out a No Bikes trip it’s centered around visiting a single park, or a few parks that are clustered in the same area. For our trip in 2018, that skatepark that really captured my imagination was the “Thunderpark” in Montana. The park is one of the (now) many Evergreen Skateparks built in the state, and beyond the unique concepts in the park layout, the backstory behind the park was really intriguing. Throughout Montana, skateparks have been built in small towns and on reservations as part of the Montana Pool Service movement with Jeff Ament from the band Pearl Jam as the leading force. In my travels, I’ve always had the best time riding parks in small towns, and these parks look especially good.
Alaska was a dream trip that was a decade in the making. Since we started doing No Bikes trips in 2009, the general theme has been to go to interesting places, often out of the way, to ride cool stuff. Although Alaska was always bound to meet the first two criteria, the third is an open question to most people. I know that there is a lot to ride in AK, but others have found that idea to be somewhat unbelievable. After ten years of evolving crews and memorable trips to Washington (twice), Oregon (three times), Montana (twice), Utah, and BC (twice), six of my favorite people came to visit my favorite place. The above video contains nine minutes of highlights from the summer of 2019. Read on for some photos to preview a ‘zine that will come out later this year (for those who like hard copies, and want to know more about Alaska and this trip).
[Back]: Matt Desson, Aaron Gates, Donald (Dab King) Delp, Cary Lorenz, Delia Millsap, Tony Archibeque Jr., Slade Scherer, Jack Nicholl, Colin Fried, Jordan Thaden, Andy McGrath, Dave Butler, Carl (Pizza King) Arnett, Ty Scott, Tommy Joseph, Mat Ridgeway, [Front]: David Clay, Tony Piff.
Each year, my friends and I pack up a few vehicles and go explore a new part of America. This year, we packed two trucks, two cars and a minivan with 20 people and 19 bikes. The destination was Eastern Oregon, the fourth of July, and the heart of America.
Words – Aaron Gates. Photos – Tony Archibeque Jr. (unless otherwise noted)
It’s February, and most of us have been buried by snow or have battled grey skies and rain for months. At this point, with spring just around the corner, I wanted to share this video that a few friends and I made years ago in Alaska.
In Alaska, snow hits in late September and melts in April leaving only a short period for riding and other summer activities. In a way, the winter defines the entire year. I’ve never seen a group of people live life as aggressively as Alaskans do in June and July. Walking around a neighborhood at 10 pm is different there. There is often a surprising number of kids out playing, there might be people out doing yardwork and if you want to, you can ride all night in semi-daylight.
I hope that some of you will watch this and be able to relate to it. Alaska is an extreme example, but there are lots of places in Canada with the same long winters and the same necessity to get out there and make things happen in the summer.
In July, 15 of us packed a bunch of cars up and took a trip deep into Oregon. We take a trip like this every year and make a point to go somewhere new each time. The trip featured veterans like Alaskan wildman David Clay and newcomers like Dave Butler and Caleb Ruecker (along with many names that you’ll recognize from this site over the years). We bombed hills, roasted magnesium in the campfire, hung out on the dunes, waited on the side of the highway with a broken down minivan and rode some of the weirdest and wildest skateparks the Northwest has to offer.
We’ve got a good amount of content coming from this trip, and up first is a gallery shot by Jason Vawter. Jason shot so many great photos that we’ve left them in a gallery on Flickr for easy viewing. Check the gallery out HERE.
In 2009, I took a long road trip with honourary Canadian David Clay. We shot this photo on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, which is the alternate route between Whitehorse and Prince George. It’s one of those roads where you fill up at every gas station because nobody knows where the next one is, or if it’s still in business. This photo reminds me of how awesome that drive was.
In July, eight of us took a trip to explore the open skies and amazing concrete parks of Montana. It was a trip I’d been wanting to make for years, and I was fortunate to share it with some of the best riders in Canada. Legendary Alaskan David Clay also jumped on the trip three days before it started (“I just bought some guns, but I think I can drop $500 on a plane ticket”). We came home with a ton of content and decided to put together a micro-site dedicated to our adventure. We hope to give you a sense of the people we met and places we visited along the way.
We’ll be releasing the site in four parts on Sundays and Wednesdays over the next two weeks. It will have a permanent home here. First up is a gallery of photos from Mat Ridgeway’s disposable camera, along with some of the stories that accompany them.